Graduate Catalog
2019-2020
 
Policies, Procedures, Academic Programs
Landscape Architecture
College of Architecture & Urban Studies
Burruss Hall is the main administration building, it also contains a 3,003-seat auditorium and houses several departments in the College of Architecture. It consists of the original building, completed in June, 1936 (cost $428,404; 77,080 sq. ft); a west wing and rear addition, built in 1968 (cost $1,536,899; 60,503 sq. ft.); and an east wing, built in 1970 (cost $593,729; 20,638 sq. ft.). It was originally known as the Teaching and Administration Building.
121 Burruss Hall, Mail Code:0190 Blacksburg VA 24061
Burruss Hall
Degree(s) Offered:
• MLA
MLA Degree in Landscape Architecture
Minimum GPA: 3.0
Offered In:
Blacksburg
• PhD
PhD Degree in Landscape Architecture
Minimum GPA: 3.0
Offered In:
Blacksburg
Phone Number(s):
540/231-5583
Application Deadlines:
Fall: Feb 15
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Burruss Hall

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Department Chair : Terry Clements
Graduate Program Director : Mintai Kim (Graduate Program Director, Blacksburg)
Emeriti Faculty: Benjamin Johnson
Professors: Terry Clements
Associate Professors: Nathan Heavers; Wendy Jacobson; Brian Katen; Paul Kelsch; Mintai Kim; Laurel McSherry
Assistant Professors: Cermetrius Bohannon

Landscape Architecture Introduction

The Landscape Architecture Program in the School of Architecture + Design has an established international reputation as one of North America’s leading and highly-ranked programs. The program offers three tracks to a Master of Landscape Architecture (MLA)degree: a 3-year first-professional MLA, a 2-year advanced MLA, and a one year plus thesis track. PhD studies focused in landscape architecture are offered through the Architecture Design Research PhD in the School of Architecture + Design. Non-degree students from other universities are invited to study with us for one or two semesters.

Degree applicants with undergraduate qualifications in any discipline are considered for the three-year Master of Landscape Architecture program. The first-professional degree program’s studio-based curriculum integrates design and planning, landscape sciences and technologies, ecology, and human/environment interaction. Applicants with a previous degree in landscape architecture, architecture or an allied area may be admitted to the two-year MLA program, an option that encourages students to develop an individualized program of study building upon the program’s areas of expertise in community engagement, place-making, ecological design and resiliency, and design learning.

Our MLA graduates routinely find work in design and planning firms, governmental and municipal agencies, and community and non-profit organizations across the United States and abroad. The three tracks to a Masters in Landscape Architecture are rigorous and intensive studies integrating students’ creativity, new and developing knowledge, and problem-solving skills as they address contemporary design and planning challenges in the built environment. The Landscape Architecture Program guides students as they address some of the most important challenges of our time: climate change; healthy living and empathetic design; urbanization; re-imagining water, food, energy and transportation systems; green infrastructure; remediation of spoiled and disturbed sites; and preserving critical natural and cultural resources.

Offered In (Blacksburg)

Degree Requirements

Minimum GPA: 3.0
Institution code: 5859
Testing Requirements:
  • TOEFL
    • Paper
      • 600.0
    • Computer
      • 250.0
    • iBT
      • 100.0

The Landscape Architecture Program offers three tracks for pursuing a Master of Landscape Architecture degree (MLA), depending on the student's academic and professional experience.  All students completing a MLA program at Virginia Tech will have met the Landscape Architecture Accreditation Board's (LAAB) requirements of a professional degree program. The tracks include:  

PhD focused on landscape architecture is offered through the School of Architecture + Design's PhD in Architecture and Design Research. 

The three-year first-professional Master of Landscape Architecture is an accredited three-year professional degree designed for individuals who have completed a bachelor's degree in a field other than landscape architecture. The program offers a studio-based curriculum integrating design and planning, landscape sciences and technologies, ecology, and human/environment interaction. Emphasis is given to developing mastery of landscape architectural design through a series of design studios and a final thesis project that investigate challenges to the built environment across a range of scales from sites to regions. 

Individuals are admitted on a competitive basis. Applicants, who have completed a baccalaureate degree or its equivalent, are eligible for admission. Applications are reviewed by a faculty committee and evaluated on the basis of previous academic performance, relevant experience, statement of interest, and evidence of potential to successfully pursue graduate-level work in landscape architecture. Our students have varied educational backgrounds and experience. College-level courses in the natural sciences, ecology, urban and regional planning, and the visual arts (e.g., drawing, sculpture, printmaking, and/or basic design) are recommended although not required.

Applicants with previous education in design, an undergraduate degree in architecture or another closely related field, or who have substantial equivalent coursework in landscape architecture, environmental design or landscape design may be eligible for admission with advanced standing, subject to the review of the admissions committee. A transcript, coursework and portfolio review will be conducted for applicants seeking advanced standing. Interested persons are encouraged to contact the program.

Admitted degree candidates will be recommended for the Master of Landscape Architecture professional degree upon satisfactory completion of 75 credit hours (typically 25 credits hours of Foundation Studies plus 50 credit hours of MLA Studies) including a thesis. Foundation Studies prepare students to perform at the graduate level and include introductory course work in history, theory, design, technique, and natural systems. Some coursework may be waived for previous experience or content coverage in undergraduate studies. MLA studies include a sequence of required studios, core coursework, and directed electives. Directed electives support the development of a student’s desired area of mastery, and may be taken from various areas of study offered across the university. Graduate Studies culminate with a design thesis directed by a major professor. See: 3-year First-professional MLA Program.

The 2-Year post-professional MLA is an advanced program tailored for students who already hold an accredited first professional-degree in landscape architecture, architecture or another closely related field. The 2-year MLA program is dedicated to the advancement of knowledge and to advancing an understanding of landscape architecture within four areas:  community engaged design, design for resiliency, people and place, and design learning and education. Applicants are asked to specify their area of research interest upon application.

Each student in the two-year, advanced MLA program works in consultation with a major professor to craft an individualized graduate plan of study within a specific area of focused research. The plan of study includes both general landscape architecture courses and coursework pertaining to an area of research focus. The graduate plan of study typically includes at least 50 credit hours. Ten of these hours are devoted to a capstone thesis that addresses a specific issue or question within the student's selected area of focused research. Students from a related field must also complete additional coursework necessary to fulfill any remaining requirements for a professional MLA degree. A transcript, coursework and portfolio review will be conducted to identify necessary coursework.  See: Advanced Masters of Landscape Architecture

The 1 Year Plus Thesis MLA is an accelerated degree designed for students who have both a professional degree in landscape architecture or a closely related field and considerable practical experience. The program is designed to allow seasoned practitioners an opportunity to earn an advanced degree by completing focused studies in an individually tailored program. See: Advanced Masters of Landscape Architecture

Dual Degree Programs: MLA students may pursue a simultaneous master degree in either Urban and Regional Planning (MLA/MURP) or Natural Resources (MLA/MNR). The dual degree programs coordinate course requirements in both fields, assuring the integrity of each while also saving time and cost to the student. Dual degree students must be admitted to both programs following the admissions procedures in each. Students may apply for admission to both programs before enrolling in either, or they may apply after first being admitted to and enrolling in one program. In the latter case, application to the second program should be made before half the coursework in the first has been completed. 

The MLA/MURP Dual Degree Program recognizes the fundamental linkage between planning and design of the natural environment as impacted by humans.  This program shares electives and/or the substitution of significantly relevant courses from each field.  Individualized plans of study for students seeking simultaneous degrees are based upon student backgrounds and needs. A capstone product is required of each program. The capstone product may bridge the fields of each degree. 

MLA/MNR Dual Degree Program coordinates course requirements in both fields, taking full advantage of the on-line MNR offerings. The MNR prepares students for careers in environmental sustainability as natural resource, environmental, and sustainability professionals. 

Off Campus Studies: MLA students may elect to participate in the Landscape Architecture Program's Summer Education Abroad Program or in university exchange programs offering landscape architecture coursework. Off-campus coursework will be reflected in the student's individual Program of Study and must receive prior approval from their major professor.

Offered In (Blacksburg)

Degree Requirements

Minimum GPA: 3.0
Institution code: 5859
Testing Requirements:
  • TOEFL
    • Paper
      • 600.0
    • Computer
      • 250.0
    • iBT
      • 100.0

Ph.D. in Architecture and Design Research offered at Blacksburg and National Capital Region (NCR) Campus:  Students may pursue Ph.D. level studies in landscape architecture through the School of Architecture + Design's "Design Research" track of the Ph.D. program in Architecture and Design Research. Ph.D. candidates pursue an individual course of study and independent research related to an aspect of landscape architecture. The program supports candidates interested in entering academic and professional practices around the world.     

 

Landscape Architecture Studios and Facilities shared with the School of Architecture + Design

Graduate students have permanent work stations in the common Landscape Architecture Studio. The studio is shared with other master of landscape architecture students, as well as upper year undergraduate students. As part of the School of Architecture + Design, students have access to wood, metal and print-making shops, as well as other maker-spaces. The landscape architecture studio has a laser cutter as well as plotting and scanning machines for student use.

Community Design Assistance Center

The Community Design Assistance Center assists communities, neighborhood groups, and non-profit organizations in improving the natural and built environments through design, planning, policy and research.  See:  http://cdac.arch.vt.edu/ 
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